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report

palestinian children
and military detention
A report of the Dutch multidisciplinary group of experts on the practice
and impact of arrest, interrogation, detention and adjudication of
Palestinian children by Israeli military authorities.
April 2014
2
report palestinian children and military detention
The aim of this report is to ask the Dutch government, particularly the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to pay
special attention to the practice of arrest, interrogation, detention and adjudication of Palestinian children
by Israeli military authorities in the West Bank. This report encourages the Minister, in his relations with
Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and, where possible, in the context of the European Union, to promote
that arrest, interrogation, detention and adjudication of Palestinian children by Israeli military authorities
only takes place in accordance with the internationally recognized rights of the child and the standards
associated with those rights.
Illustrations cover and page 2: Joseen Versteeg
Graphic design: AzimDezign.nl
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report palestinian children and military detention
report
palestinian children
and military detention
A report of the Dutch multidisciplinary
group of experts on the practice and impact
of arrest, interrogation, detention and
adjudication of Palestinian children by
Israeli military authorities.
April 2014
4
rapport palestijnse kinderen en militaire detentie
At the request of gate48 - Platform for Critical
Israelis in the Netherlands and Palestine Link, a
Dutch multidisciplinary expert-group visited Israel
and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the
West Bank from 23 November till 1 December 2013.
The visit was in response to alarming reports from
Israeli, Palestinian and international organizations,
including UNICEF. The purpose of the visit was to get
an accurate picture of the practice of arrest, inter-
rogation, detention and adjudication of Palestinian
children, who are being accused, by Israeli military
authorities, of committing crimes. The expert-
group was particularly interested in the ways in
which these practices affect the accused children
as well as their families and their communities.
Ultimately, the expert-group aimed to develop a
concrete set of recommendations for the Dutch
government, to be used in consultation with the
Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, to
improve the treatment of Palestinian children and
ensure that their internationally recognized rights
are respected.
The expert-group conducted interviews with many
individuals and organisations: children and their
parents, school teachers, lawyers who try to provide
Palestinian children with adequate legal assistance,
professionals who provide mental health services
to Palestinian children, as well as representa-
tives from UNICEF, the Palestinian Authority and
Israeli, Palestinian and international non-govern-
mental childrens and human rights organizations
and representatives of the Dutch government (in
Ramallah and Tel Aviv). The group was also present
for a number of military court sessions in the West
Bank, where members spoke with a spokesperson
from the Israeli military authorities (IDF). Despite
numerous attempts and requests, the Israeli
authorities did not provide the group any oppor-
tunity to speak with representatives from the Israeli
government or members of the Israeli parliament.
Based on its own observations and interviews, as
well as the Concluding Observations of the UN
Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation
to Israel of 2013, the 2013 UNICEF report, and other
publications and sources of information (see full
report for references), the expert-group has reached
the conclusion that the treatment of Palestinian
children accused of committing crimes by the Israeli
military authorities represents a serious, systemic
and systematic violation and disregard of the rights
of these children. This method of treatment has a
signicant negative impact on the lives of the
affected children, their families and their commu-
nities. This also raises many questions about the
rights of these children and their families.
The practice of arrest, interrogation, detention
and adjudication of Palestinian children by Israeli
military authorities cannot be separated from
its general context and, in particular, the nearly
fty-year military occupation of the Palestinian
Territories by Israel. Various authoritative interna-
tional bodies have found the military occupation
as well as specic Israeli activities in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (such as the building of the
Wall) to be in violation of international law. The UN
Security Council, the International Court of Justice,
the International Red Cross, the Human Rights
Council and different UN human rights committees
have expressly denounced these activities (see full
report for references). A structural solution in order
to end the widespread violations of the rights of
(accused) Palestinian children by Israeli military
forces in the West Bank would be an end of the
military occupation, which the UN has expressly
urged Israel to do so (UN Security Council, Resolution
242 (S/RES/242), 22 November 1967). This will need
to be part of a (peace) agreement between the
Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
The expert-group takes the view that, in the context
of the current peace talks, the Dutch government,
Summary
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report palestinian children and military detention
Photo: Karin Arts
where possible in conjunction with the European
Union, should ask that special attention be paid
to the treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli
soldiers.
Changes in the short term will have to be pursued
within the existing framework of arrest, inter-
rogation and detention of Palestinian children
by Israeli military authorities, their adjudication
by Israeli military courts, and the international
law applicable to them, such as the Convention
on the Rights of the Child and the Fourth Geneva
Convention.
The primary responsibility for ending the childrens
rights violations lies with the Israeli government.
In the opinion of the expert group, the Dutch
government, in its relations with the Israeli
government, the Palestinian Authority and where
possible in context of the European Union, should
exert maximum effort in contributing to the
ending of those violations.
The expert-group urges the Dutch government
to explicitly voice its concerns about the serious
violations of childrens rights associated with the
practice of arrest, interrogation, detention and
adjudication of Palestinian children by Israeli
military authorities. Where possible, this should
be done within the context of the European Union.
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report palestinian children and military detention
The Dutch government should also urge the Israeli
authorities to fulll their obligations under the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is also
ratied by Israel.
The expert-group proposes a number of practical
measures that the Dutch government should
recommend and support. These include, among
others, the following measures, which are necessary
to ensure that the arrest, interrogation, detention
and adjudication of Palestinian children by the Israeli
military authorities is only carried out in accordance
with the internationally recognized rights of the
child and the standards associated with those rights
(see chapter 7 of the report for a complete overview
of the recommendations):
The expert-group calls upon the Dutch government
to request the Israeli authorities to introduce and
implement these concrete measures in a manner
that is veriable.
1. Ensure that arrest, detention and imprisonment of Palestinian children is only used as a measure
of last resort and for the shortest period of time possible;
2. Replace the practice of nightly arrests with a summons system. Make sure the parents of arrested
children are notied within 24 hours, informed of their childs location as well as the applicable
possibilities for visitation, and given a permit to visit their child frequently during the detention
period;
3. Make audiovisual recording of interrogations of Palestinian children mandatory. Safeguard that
a lawyer representing the child and one of the childs parents are present during interrogations.
Confessions or statements made by the child without the presence of a lawyer should be not
admissible as evidence.
4. Take effective measures for avoiding pre-trial detention as much as possible via alternative
measures and the use of bail proportionate to the seriousness of the offence allegedly committed
by the child.
5. Take measures to ensure the existing practice of trial by military juvenile courts is brought in line
with prevailing international standards;
6. Make sure the living conditions of Palestinian children in detention conform to international
standards, with particular attention paid to appropriate education, medical and psychological
care, sports and recreation, and independent monitoring of the treatment of these children;
7. Support and strengthen existing programs designed to help the physical and psychological
recovery and the social reintegration of Palestinian children, who are released after having been
arrested, interrogated, detained and tried by the Israeli military authorities. Programs that assist
the families of these children should also be supported and strengthened.
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report palestinian children and military detention
Prof. Jaap Doek PhD (Chair)
Emeritus Professor of Family and Youth Law,
VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
Chair UN Committee on the Rights of the Child,
2001-2007
Prof. Dr. Karin Arts PhD
Professor of International Law and Development,
International Institute of Social Studies,
The Hague, The Netherlands (part of Erasmus
University Rotterdam)
Prof. Peter van der Laan PhD
Professor of Probation at VU University Amsterdam
and senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute
for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR)
Prof. Ton Liefaard PhD
Professor of Childrens Rights (UNICEF-chair),
Leiden Law School, The Netherlands
M.Sc Linda Vogtlander
Child and adolescent psychiatrist, De Waag Utrecht,
The Netherlands.
Prof. Micha de Winter PhD
Professor of Social Education and Youth Policy,
Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University,
The Netherlands.
Yannick van den Brink LL.M MA (secretary)
PhD candidate juvenile justice, Leiden Law School,
The Netherlands.
Expert-group members
report
palestinian children
and military detention
April 2014
Organized by: Supported by:
The aim of this report is to ask the Dutch government, particularly the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, to pay special attention to the practice of arrest, interrogation,
detention and adjudication of Palestinian children by Israeli military authorities
in the West Bank. This report encourages the Minister, in his relations with Israeli
and Palestinian authorities, and, where possible, in the context of the European
Union, to promote that arrest, interrogation, detention and adjudication of
Palestinian children by Israeli military authorities only takes place in accordance
with the internationally recognized rights of the child and the standards
associated with those rights.
report
palestinian children
and military detention
A report of the Dutch multidisciplinary group of experts on the practice
and impact of arrest, interrogation, detention and adjudication of
Palestinian children by Israeli military authorities.
April 2014